Beloved, March 26th, 2020
Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I wish that we did not have to practice so much physical distancing right now. But we do. I am hoping and praying that you are taking this darned virus very seriously. We know that we have at least one confirmed case of Covid-19 in Stephenville, which means that in about three weeks’ time, we will see how well everyone in our town has done at physical distancing.
That said, I pray for each of us every day. Please know that you can reach out anytime. Our Vestry continues to meet weekly on Friday mornings at 10 am. These are public meetings. If you would like to be included, you need to let Terri know.
This Sunday, I am happy to report that we will do our services via Facebook AND Zoom. You will receive a link to the Zoom in this email. We are doing Zoom because it is interactive, and after the service, we can all share a virtual Coffee Hour.
We are busily preparing for a meaningful Holy Week experience. Holy Week is the most sacred time in our calendar year, and this year, the requirements of physical distancing are going to mean that we have to do things differently. I want to let you know about some of those changes.
On Palm Sunday, April 5th, from 9:00-9:30 am, I will be standing outside the front doors of the church. If you would like to receive palms, you are invited to allow me to tuck palms into your windshield wiper (Windows closed). Then, as I step away, if you would like to receive a blessing, you may roll your window down, and I will give you a blessing. Then, you are invited to join me for services via our Facebook page for the Liturgy of the Palms and Services.
On Monday and Tuesday in Holy Week, Noonday prayers will be offered via Facebook at noon, and Compline will be offered at 9 pm via Facebook. On Wednesday of Holy Week, we will offer a digital Stations of the Cross at 6 pm. That service will happen on zoom, and hopefully be posted later to Facebook and Youtube. You will receive the link via email.
Thursday, April 9th, is Maundy Thursday, when we celebrate the Mandate that we love one another. This service will be done by Zoom. You will receive links for that as we approach Holy Week. When Jesus gathered with his disciples, he did so in a home, celebrating a meal and inviting his disciples to commemorate his love by continuing to remember him as they shared a meal. Frank and I will be sharing a meal with you at our table. I invite you to have a meatless (or not, cause it’s Texas) meal at the same time. We will each gather around a table. That service will happen at 6 pm and be recorded to later post.
On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, liturgies will be streamed at 6 pm. Those will be filmed in the church with music. Bulletins for all these liturgies will be on our website and sent via email.
On Easter Sunday, I invite you to again drive to the church. This time, I will tuck a flower into your windshield to celebrate the Resurrection. Then, join me at 10 am for a streamed service on Facebook. Afterward, a Zoom link will be available for a virtual Coffee Hour.
OKAY, that’s a lot. I know that many of us are feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on around us, but in the words of St. Julian, “All shall be well.” We will get through this and someday we’ll laugh about the time we did Easter online!
Much love, Bradley C.+